AIADA News: Fall 2021

First Up 10/04/21

AIADA News: Fall 2021


As we round the corner on 2021, AIADA is advocating for the unique interests of international brand auto dealers in Washington, D.C. Find out what AIADA is doing for our industry this fall, and how you can get involved, by watching the fall news report. Click here to watch – and don’t forget to share it with your colleagues and employees. 

As Hiring Problem Grows, Industry Gets Creative

September was supposed to be the month when an absent North American work force suddenly reemerged and reported for factory duty. After a year and a half of pandemic infections, home confinement, interrupted auto production, idled factories, and furloughed workers, Sept. 6 marked the end of federal unemployment assistance that was enacted to ease the impact of smaller paychecks, failing businesses and people's reluctance to go to work during the pandemic. The assumption, reports Automotive News, was that the program's end would send workers back to the job. But many in the industry remain skeptical. Economic data reported over the past month indicates that job openings are rising significantly. Hirings also are up, but they are not coming close to filling the number of vacant positions around the industry — especially at a time when the market is red-hot and consumers are clamoring for new cars and trucks. This is the buried crisis of the auto business: Companies have a dire need for more workers and a stubborn problem hiring them. The pandemic has masked and complicated that. Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 

Consumers Ramped Up Spending in August as Inflation Remained Elevated

Consumer spending picked up in August, a sign the U.S. economic recovery is gaining steam heading into the fall, reports The Wall Street Journal. Personal outlays on goods and services rose 0.8% in August from the month before, after a 0.1% decrease in July, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Personal income increased 0.2% in August, reflecting wage gains and the federal government’s distribution of child tax credits. Those were partly offset by declines in unemployment insurance as many states ended pandemic-related supplemental payments, the Commerce Department report noted. The highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus triggered a summer slowdown in spending on meals out, hotels, and airline tickets. Still, consumers remain in a strong position to help power the economic recovery. Consumers cut their spending on long-lasting goods in August for the fourth consecutive month, Friday’s Commerce Department report showed. They curtailed purchases of vehicles, likely reflecting low inventories and high prices. Read more here (Source: The Wall Street Journal). 

Volvo Cars Reports 30% Sales Drop in September as Chip Crisis Weighs

Geely-owned Volvo Car Group's monthly sales fell 30.2% from a year ago in September, dented by the global component shortage, the Sweden-based automaker said on Monday. Reuters reports that the company warned last month that sales volumes in the second half of 2021 could fall year-on-year after production cuts due to material shortages. "The decline was related to a shortage of components. This affected production although it picked up again late in the month," Volvo Cars said in a statement, adding demand for its products remained strong. Global sales at the firm, which is considering listing on the Nasdaq Stockholm stock exchange this year, fell to 47,223 cars in September, with sales in Europe dropping 41.5% while they fell 9% in the United States. A global chip shortage over the past year has caused a major delay in manufacturing activity and forced several automakers to scale back output. Read more here (Source: Reuters). 

Mazda Toyota Produces 'Job 1' Vehicle at $2.3B Alabama Plant

Mazda Toyota Manufacturing and its 2,000-plus team members last week celebrated the production of the first dealer-ready vehicle – a 2022 Corolla Cross – to emerge from the partnership’s new factory in Huntsville, reports Made in Alabama. “This is the moment MTM and our North Alabama community have waited for since we broke ground in November 2018,” said Mark Brazeal, vice president of administration at the facility. “We are excited to see Corolla Cross in dealerships across the U.S.” MTM, the only North American facility to produce the Corolla Cross, is a joint venture partnership between Mazda Motor Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. The plant will also produce a yet-to-be-announced Mazda vehicle. MTM is now hiring more than 1,700 additional employees to join its existing workforce, eventually reaching up to 4,000 once production is in full operation next year. The plant has the capacity to produce 300,000 vehicles a year, evenly split between the two nameplates. Read more here (Source: Made in Alabama). 


Around the Web

The Classic Cars Being Converted to Electric Vehicles [BBC]

Volvo Cars is Completing Plans for IPO in Stockholm [WSJ]

Tesla Deliveries Surge, Defying Supply Chain Woes [WSJ

This Electric Car Can Get 250 Miles on a Charge [CNN